Purdue women’s basketball head coach found herself with an opening on her staff after longtime assistant coach, for both Gearlds and Versyp, Beth Couture announced her retirement this month. Gearlds wasted no time in finding a name that will be familiar to all Boilermaker basketball fans. Former Purdue standout, assistant coach, and former Marquette assistant coach Kelly Komara will be added to the Boilermakers staff.
You might remember Kelly Komara as a key piece in Purdue’s national title run from 1999 as well as their runner-up finish in 2001. Komara was one of the best guards to ever play at Purdue and the numbers and her awards back that up. Komara was a three time All-Big Ten selection, the 2002 defensive player of the year in the Big Ten, Most Outstanding Player of the 2001 Mideast Region, and, according to the release from Purdue, “one of seven Boilermakers in history to score over 1,000 points, dish out 400 assists and record 200 steals” during her career.
We all know she was a great player but what has she done as a coach since she graduated from Purdue? Well, she’s had quite a few stops. She spent 2014-2016 as an assistant under Sharon Versyp here at Purdue. She also had a long stint at Vanderbilt from 2016-2021 under former Purdue standout Stephanie White. Most recently Komara spent the last two seasons in Marquette as she helped guide the Golden Eagles to the NCAA Tournament.
Purdue is of course coming off their first NCAA Tournament appearance in seven seasons in Head Coach Katie Gearlds second season with the team. They look to be ahead of schedule. Plus, with the news of Abbey Ellis, Jeanae Terry, and Caitlyn Harper all returning Purdue should find themselves in a good position. The hope is that the addition of Komara back to her alma mater will bring an additional level of excitement to this Boilermaker squad. Best of luck coach, glad to have you back.